FESTIVALS: Wang Xiaoshuai wins two Silver Bears in Berlin

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Wang Xiaoshuai’s So Long, My Son picked up two Silver Bears, for best actress (Yong Mei) and best actor (Wang Jingchun), at this year’s Berlin film festival (February 7-17). 

Also starring Qi Xi and Du Jiang, the film follows a Chinese family through three decades of social upheaval – from the economic reforms of the 1980s to the super-charged capitalism of the present day. Wang previously won Berlin’s Jury Grand Prix for Beijing Bicycle (2001) and the Silver Bear for best script for Zuo You (2008). 

Synonymes from Israel’s Nadiv Lapid won the Golden Bear for best film, marking the first time in the festival’s history that an Israeli director has taken its top prize. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to French director Francois Ozon’s By The Grace Of God, while System Crasher, from Germany’s Nora Fingscheidt, won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize.

Germany’s Angela Schanelec took the Silver Bear for best director for I Was At Home, But, while the Silver Bear for best screenplay was presented to Italian crime drama Piranhas (Maurizio Braucci, Claudio Giovannesi, Roberto Saviano). The Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution went to Rasmus Videbaek, cinematographer on Scandinavian drama Out Stealing Horses.

Meanwhile, Japanese drama 37 Seconds, directed by Hikari (aka Mitsuyo Miyazaki), took the audience award in the Panorama section. The film tells the story of a manga artist with cerebral palsy who goes on a journey of sexual self discovery after she decides to start drawing manga porn.